Moving Watch

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    drawing & painting, knitting & crocheting, reading & writing
    in search of the exit from the labyrinth

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  1. Not completely. At some point in her own chapter she thinks something like: "It had to be Arya. Who else could it be?" As far as I remember it, she saw a girl and she said that it's Arya. But you know what? Regarding Arya, I had the same thought as you early on in the books! Cat had five own children, four of which took strikingly much after her and only one daughter after her father and that in the space of only two years. Things like that may happen, but knowing Martin's way of writing a bit, it should at least attract our attention. Additionally, Arya resembles very much Jon the bastard. Hence I was wondering from the beginning if she might not be Cat's daughter at all. Your quote about Sansa's thoughts takes the same line, thanks for it! But... Jon having "more of the north in him than his brothers" does not necessarily mean that he isn't Lyannas and Rhaegar's son. His siblings are a mix of the North (father) and the Riverlands (mother) - Jon would be a mix of the North (mother) and the Targs (father). Obviously all of them took mostly after their respective mothers, so it makes sense, that Jon has "more of the north" in him. (Personally, I'm convinced proponent of the R+L=J theory.) She surely isn't who she appears to be. But as to the ruby... I understood it as a device producing illusions rather than as a control instrument. Until Mance wore it, he appeared to all and sundry as the Lord of Bones. A perfect illusion, perhaps created by some special frequency waves from the ruby? I'm curious how Mel would look like if somebody removed that collar of hers?
  2. Sorry for the delayed reaction! During the week, there's few time for the forums. I wouldn't like to discuss the matter as such anymore since in the end, I found what I was looking for, but I would surely like to clarify my point - it's good you were asking, for I see that it was a bit vague: I'm not about learning in general, because that's something everybody has to do in order to succeed. Even a knight has to learn, and so Arya is learning languages, potions etc., though she has a hard time doing so. What I had in mind was rather talent, a natural inclination to do something, a passion or liking of sorts. When you look around amongst your relatives and friends, there's quite certainly some persons with rather physical inclinations as well as such with artistical or intellectual or, say, spiritual ones, and I'm sure not everyone is in a position to act it fully out even today. My point was that in Westeros any girl or woman who is somehow inclined to overstep the rather narrow limits of her gender role shows up to be a badass in some way. I was just missing a girl thinking: "No, the role of the lady and mother or the nurse, that's not me, because I'm a thinker/an artist/a loner who loves to sit and contemplate..." - or something like that. Most certainly she would never be able to act it out in her life, but that's quite another cup of tea. Did I make myself clearer now?
  3. This. All the rest has arrived at or near Slaver's Bay or turned back to Westeros resp. - where's Marwyn go to? I always thought him to be the "dark flame" from Quaithe's prophecy because of that obsidian candle in his room, but obviously it refers to Moqorro?
  4. Why does that surprise you? Ask three astrologers the same question, and you will probably get four different answers. The image is one thing, the interpretation something completely different. Never forget the individual mindset behind the prophecy. The imagery is always true, while the subjective intellect is always prone to errors and misinterpretations, just because it's subjective. It's got nothing to do with malevolence, to begin with. As an example take the return of the supposed Arya. Mel saw in the flames a grey clad girl on a dying horse (or something like that). She saw the truth. Now, she heard from Jon that his sister was married to the monster Ramsay Bolton in Winterfell, and she knew how Jon was afraid for her and how wretched Arya must have been. She didn't want to mislead him, she wanted to predict him as accurately as possible, and surely she wanted to perplex him, so she mixed all information together in a stew named: "Your sister Arya is on her way to you!" It's a quite common mistake to leap to false conclusions, because the data seem to match so perfectly (Melisandre: "I had to be Arya, who else could it be?"), and this holds true not only for psychics and the like, but also for scientists.
  5. I can agree with you about the Crone qualities of some elder women, like Cat or Olenna, though I can't remember reading about Lady Tarly in the novel. Btw - what means QoT? The Smith though in my understanding is more about craftsmanship, like construction, artisan craftwork, trade, gardening, cooking etc. I don't think that noble ladies did things like that - apart from embroidering which wasn't meant to have any special practical use. Catelyn - hardworking? Yeah, she rides around, talks, negiotates, counsels, but when I think of a hardworking woman, I see a farmer rather or a servant or a nurse... Missandei and the Waif do fit my picture, that's right, I just forgot about them. But regarding Arya I have my objections: While, as a matter of fact, she does everything in order to succeed, never complaining, it's absolutely not in her nature to read or learn languages. She had a hard time doing it (and a terrible accent for a long time^^). Old Nan, Osha and Ygritte are quite another matter. In olden times, prior to the invention of printing, oral memory was vital for the survival the mundane and spiritual tradition, so you could find such a tale-teller in nearly every household or village. A woman telling stories was a common figure. Healing wasn't a male domain either, especially when it comes to herbal lore. What I meant was a female equivalent to Sam, Tyrion or Rodrik Harlaw - and did find some of them in the end: Sarella Sand, Missandei, and the Waif, to begin with, and even a genuine female artist in Duskendale (or was it Maidenpool?)... Hence it is not so bad as it looked.
  6. Lyanna - unless there are any new insights? I know about the occurrences at the tower of joy, it's in the novel after all, I just don't know where it stands, how it looks and all the particulars.
  7. I see. Sadly, I'm still missing all the history info, ought to read a bit about it at ToH... Also, Jon could be reborn at Dragonstone... *pondering away*
  8. True enough. Alas, TWOIAF isn't available in my local library, so I didn't get the occasion yet to learn more about the history. Excellent point! I think that's the answer.
  9. Ok, that's a point... But again we could hear of them from someone's POV, something like "she remembered her freakish sister spending most of her time in the castle's library..." No, I don't complain, ultimately it's Martin's story - and one of the best I ever read! It just struck me that all those "rebellious" girls seem to prefer the athletic path which could lead us to the conclusion that being a tomboy is the only way of breaking out the female role stereotype.
  10. But the same is true for noble girls like Arya or Brienne. Neither of them was encouraged to learn swordfighting, and we know how Catelyn and Septa Mordane were badgering the "wayward" tomboy about behaving more "ladylike". Nevertheless they followed their hearts. However we don't even meet a scolarly inclined girl or woman - except of Sarella Sand, if she really is Alleras, that's true enough. Oh yeah, you're right - I actually forgot the artist in Maidenpool (or was it Duskendale?) and poor Masha Heddle (she reminded me so much of our B&B hostess in Edinburgh ). I'm sure we were to find a much greater variety of spheres of interest as well as professions in lower class women, but as it stands, it's mainly the aristocracy ASOIAF is focussing on.
  11. That part doesn't fit Jon, does it? First time I became suspicious about Stannis being the promised saviour was when blind Aemon stated that Lightbringer may burn brightly, but it's cold. Chapters later, Jon confirmed the observation. I then thought that Melisandre might have seen exactly that in her flames: a person born amidst smoke and salt (Renly in the show: "What? Is he a ham?" ). The rest was her own interpretation together with a certain lack of historical knowledge maybe. As I remember, she was a slave child sold to a Red Temple. I don't know how the education there looks like. It always struck me that all she saw in the flames became true, but her interpretations almost always missed the target, because she wanted to know too badly. That's the problem of a host of astrologers, fortune-tellers and the like when they try to get an intellectual grasp of the mystery. And/or crave for power...
  12. I didn't remember Sarella from the books, but I heard it through the grapevine once that Alleras might be Sarella in disguise. If this proves true, that would indeed be at least one female with intellectual interests (although he/she is a brilliant archer too, so the physical aspect is still prominent). The Septas are governesses, as far as I know, so they basically play the educating part of the mother role, while the Silent Sisters are nurses of sorts - all female role models in contrast to the Septons who preach. That said, my chief concern isn't the presence or lack of respective career opportunities for women in Westeros, but the overall lack of the respective spheres of interest in the female figures in ASOIAF. We come to know Samwell Tarly as an "unmanly man", but he turns out to be a highly educated book-worm without being a Maester at first. Same for Rodrik Harlaw, the Reader. I've been just missing a female equivalent to this. There's no doubt she wouldn't never have the opportunity to study at the Citadel, but could well be a self-educated person similar to Sam.
  13. That’s a good point. And it fits my line of thinking being oriented rather towards role models than „gender conformig thinking and performing“, because the last one is indeed so vague it leads to confusion in the end. That’s why I propose a rodel model oriented approach to the gender question. The „classical role models“ in Westeros can be seen represented in the seven aspects of the Faith. According to the Wiki of Ice and Fire, they are... – Father, or the Father Above, representing judgment. He is depicted as a bearded man who carries scales, and is prayed to for justice. – Mother, or the Mother Above, representing motherhood and nurturing. She is prayed to for fertility or compassion, and is depicted as smiling with love, embodying the concept of mercy. – Warrior, representing strength in battle. He is prayed to for courage and victory. He carries a sword. – Maiden, representing innocence and chastity. She is usually prayed to to protect a maiden's virtue. – Smith, representing crafts and labor. He is usually prayed to when work needs to be done, for strength. He carries a hammer. – Crone, representing wisdom. She carries a lantern and is prayed to for guidance. – Stranger, representing death and the unknown. Worshipers rarely seek favor from the Stranger, but outcasts sometimes associate themselves with this god. I think we might all agree on the presence of three male role models (marked blue), three female role models (marked pink) and one gender-neutral one (marked green). The underlined words are the typical features of that particular role model. Now, let’s have a closer look at the „gender role boxes“ as present in Ned’s recital. What do we find in the male box? Well, there‘s a whole couple of potential aims in the life of a man... – the lord of a great holdfast – the king’s councillor – the builder of castles – the sailor – the High Septon plus of course the one that Bran will never fit in anymore – the knight Here’s my suggestion how to match all these professions to the features of the Seven... Male box Profession Prominent features Role Model the lord judgement, justice The Father the king’s councillor wisdom, guidance The Crone the builder of castles crafts, labor The Smith the sailor courage, force (warrior, pirate) crafts, labor (merchant) The Unknown (adventurer) The Warrior The Smith The Stranger the High Septon wisdom, guidance The Crone the knight courage, force The Warrior So we’ve got covered all three male aspects of God plus one female (the most agendered one) plus one gender-neutral. We could get to the conclusion that all that a man is expected to avoid in life is nurturing (Mother) and beauty/chastity (Maiden). And here’s the analogous female box... – to marry a king – to rule his castle – to bear children, preferably sons That’s the whole diversity of female roles effectively boiling down to being a wife and a mother. Female box Profession Prominent features Role Model the wife and mother innocence, chastity + nurturing, compassion The Maiden + The Mother If we want to be generous, we might add some aspects of the Father, the Crone and the Smith to this, i.e. judgement, guidance (guiding a household) and crafts (doing needlework), but those a rather secondary ones, I think. Of course, the female box is far more limited as it fits in with the patriarchal perspective of those times. However, it’s not social criticism I intend to offer. What did strike me most of all in the books, is the lack of of dominant Crone and Smith role models in women. We have a couple of women breaking out of the roles expected of them, first of all Arya, Asha and Brienne. For me, it’s not the point whether they wish to be men or are behaving like men, but what they are inclined and gifted to do. Arya feels like a girl, she wishes to be as beautiful and neat as Sansa is, but she doesn’t like female occupations (except for housekeeping, but even this is mostly about calculating). Instead she loves horseriding and swordfighting and this is a genuine inclination in her case. The same is true for Asha. She feels like a woman, she behaves in a seducing way, but she loves to take on the role model of a warrior. Brienne is longing for being a „proper woman“, but behaves like a warrior (actually a „swordfighting protector“, yes, but such is the definition of knighthood) as well, because she isn’t blessed with a female appearance, and she likes horseriding and swordfighting because this is what she is eventually good in. Now, whereas we can find a whole variety of kings, lords, warriors, merchants, scholars, priests etc. and even beaus amongst the male characters in the books, who admittedly have the possibility to fully live out their natural inclinations and talents – all girls or women instead who don’t want to be a wife and mother (Arya: „That’s not me.“) show an inclination to the tasks of a warrior (Arya, Asha, Brienne, even Meera) or a ruler (Cersei, Daenerys), but none of them exhibits a primary interest in reading books, trading or producing something respectively. That’s what I came across reading ASOIAF and those are the female figures I’m missing in a way. At least in Westeros. In Essos indeed, we meet some female sorcerers, priests, healers, whoremistresses plus the widow of the waterfront who is an outstanding businesswoman, but no female scholar either.
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